Re: [Rd] "bug report" field in DESCRIPTION file?

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 08:39:27 -0500

On 26/11/2009 7:09 AM, Barry Rowlingson wrote:
> A lot of R packages are now effectively maintained by several people
> and so use sites like R-forge or google code for development. This
> means the best way to report bugs or problems with these packages is
> via the development site's bug tracking rather than emailing the
> maintainer. Could we agree on a field in DESCRIPTION explicitly for
> bug reports?
>
> The DESCRIPTION file has an optional URL field which generally sends
> the user to the 'home page' of the package. Whether or not there is a
> bug tracker somewhere there isn't made explicit, so I don't think
> overloading URL for a bug report address is a good idea. The Hmisc
> package mentions its bug tracker in the Description field and also has
> it in the URL field with three other URLs. This tells me a bug report
> field might be a better idea.
>
> I'd prefer an optional field called 'BugReports:', which would be a
> URL, and this could either be the http: address of a web site bug
> tracker or a mailto: URL (of a real live human or a mail-based
> tracker).
>
> If there's agreement on this then a further step may be to write a
> 'bugreport(package)' function that would first look for a BugReport
> field, then the URL or maintainer fields to give the poor confused
> user some advice on what to do. Then when someone emails R-dev saying
> they think there's a bug in package foo, we can say "Have you read the
> output of 'bugreport("foo")'?" which might be more helpful than saying
> 'bugs with 'foo' should be reported to the maintainer'.
>

This sounds like a good idea, though I would add a "package" parameter to the bug.report() function, rather than creating a new function.

Does the logic below sound right for bug.report() with the package specified?

If there's a BugReports field, bug.report() calls browseURL() on that page.

If not, it does more or less what it does now, but

Duncan Murdoch

> Just an idea for a rainy morning...
>
> Barry
>
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